Fruit & Produce Insights

28 February 2017

The latest market insights and trends that we are seeing impacting the produce industry .

Peas Can Be Heroes


What Is The Trend?

Move over meat, there’s a new wok ‘n’ bowl superstar on the plate….the vegetable gang.

2017 will see the continued emergence of vegetables taking a more prominent, and often exclusive, role in our meals.

Vegetarianism is up 15% in Australia over the last 4 years[1], with health reasons cited as the number one driver for this. It is reported that 60.7% of all Australian adults have a BMI that qualifies as overweight or obese, while only 45.4% of vegetarian Australian adults fall into those categories [1].


What Does This Mean For Packaging?

Vegetables will appear in places and packs where meat has usually exclusively been displayed. Vegetarian meal kits are expected to emerge in the fresh and ambient spaces, and packaging will have a significant role to play here in preserving the produce for as long as possible.

With vegetables becoming the hero ingredient, expect to see tiering and premiumisation in this area, of which packaging formats will be key to delivering this message to customers.


In Market Examples

2016 saw the UK sandwich chain “Pret a Manger” open a pop up store to create a meat-free environment and promote its new range of vegetarian products. Originally supposed to only be open for one month, it remained open for a further twelve weeks, and is now due to be made permanent. Two weeks into the store’s opening, sales were reported as being up 70% on the year before when the store served meat [2].

The new Bryant Park Whole Foods store in New York have opened up a produce butcher to allow shoppers to have their vegetables prepared for them. There has been a rise of plant-based butcher shops opening in the US allowing customers to get their produce julienned, minced, sliced, diced or chopped, which questions whether the word “butcher” can be applied only to meat processors now.

Sources: [1] Roy Morgan Research – The slow but steady rise of vegetarianism in Australia

[2] –

You are not from around here, are you?


What Is The Trend?

Many of today’s consumers are considering the impact of their own carbon footprint on the environment, and it appears that the Millennial generation have an apparent growing interest in knowing where and whom their food has come from as well as how it is produced or grown. These factors, along with a growing consumer distrust in large business, are driving shoppers to local produce which also carries a perceived freshness and health benefit.


What Does This Mean For Packaging?

Local produce is often associated with requiring minimal, if any, packaging. This could put a reliance on the supply chain and tertiary packaging to be able to protect, preserve and promote the fruit and vegetables as effectively as primary packaging would. Expect to see a more detailed study of transport and ventilation to improve preservation, as well as artisan style shelf cartons to showcase the product as fresh from the local farm.


In Market Examples


Canadian produce supplier Red Prince Apple have launched a new apple bag that has the appearance of a paper bag, yet the functional benefits of a plastic bag. The new design conveys perception of wholesome, local and farm fresh.


A new mobile app called FoodBeat, launched this month, will allow farmers to digitally connect directly to local buyers. Farmers will be able to list their freshly harvested products on the platform allowing shoppers to easily purchase from their mobile phones. This platform will not only allow consumers to purchase from farmers, but restaurants and grocery store owners as well.


What Is The Trend?

For today’s time-poor consumer, convenience plays an important role in their food choices. The ever expanding options in drive throughs, ready meals, home deliveries for groceries and internet shopping is testament to this trend. If a Diffusion of Innovation graph was mapped for this trend, produce would probably fall into the Laggards category. However, it is fast catching up with a range of convenient formats from salad kits to ovenable packaging.


What Does This Mean For Packaging?

This is a trend where packaging can play an important role. Portable, single-portion sized packaging can help produce play a key role in food on the move. While ovenable packaging can facilitate a time-saving product for consumers in their home.


In Market Examples

US brand “That’s It” has released a new range of vegetable based snack bars that are committed to using the fewest amount of ingredients possible. They use only black beans, a vegetable and three binding ingredients.


Ocean Mist Farms has released a range of products in their Season & Steam Packaging. The packaging is designed to allow the consumer to easily open, season the produce, reseal and gently steam the product in the packaging itself. The range, which includes broccoli, brussels sprouts and artichokes amongst others, is designed to ready cooked in 3-5 minutes.

Sources: [1] Roy Morgan Research – The slow but steady rise of vegetarianism in Australia

[2] –